Posted on May 7, 2015
CPT Company Commander
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Recently a there was a story that has a soldier that struggled to meet an Army standard. The task did prove to be extremely difficult for that soldier and they overcome the challenge. With that being said this soldier has attained national media attention for meeting the standard. That is great for the soldier but at what cost?

Does anyone know who had the best ruck time? Did they get any attention? Was there a soldier that completed their tasks without any "No-Go's" or failures? In EIB we have a thing called "True Blue." This title is held for those that complete every event their first time successfully. They are mentioned at the pinning ceremony. Are the last few feet of the ruck march all that really counts?

In other events, as a race or game, have you ever seen anyone that completed the race get more attention than the one that won or the top athlete. MAJ Chrissy Cook was the commander for the best Bradly crew in her battalion. She was the “Top Gun” so she was recognized for that and rightfully so. I can’t recall anyone else getting recognized for just passing.
Were there other factors that led to his soldier getting so much attention? Was it just a feel good story? Were there not other soldiers that did the same and did they get as much attention from the media? Was anyone really concerned about what being an Expert Field Medic really is? If you view it as a regard for getting to your objective how useful would they have been as a medic or even safely handle their weapon without flagging others?

(On a side note 3 Air Force Combat Controllers saved the lives of 38 Army Special Forces and Afghan Soldiers. One will get the Air Force Cross, being second only to the MoH. Just in case you didn’t see this in the news. It seems to not be as important.)
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I feel that it is the media perpetuating this men vs. women stuff to further a political agenda. While I applaud the Captain for a job well done and not quitting, I don't think this was worthy of national media attention. She was a success in acheiving the EFMB, and should be commended but didn't do anything in my mind worthy of so much attention. I really hate this kind of stuff being constantly cycled in the media. CPT (Join to see) mentioned other events more newsworthy. I'm certainly not trying to take away from what the Captain did. The EFMB is extraordinarily grueling task to earn the badge , but that is exactly what she did earn the badge. That's it.
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1SG Claims Assistant
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That story resonated because it portrayed perseverance in the face of failure, will to overcome... teamates cheering her on. It was good optics. AND the EFMB is no joke. It wasn't just that ruck march, it was several days of events leading up to it.

To your point CPT (Join to see), I do not believe in celebrating mediocity. I believe in celebrating excellence. Excellence gives everyone something to aspire to.

Having said that, if I have a Soldier who has struggled to pass a standard (say APFT) and does, I make sure that it is a big deal. To the Soldier, it is. It should be to his peers as well. But most importantly, you need to celebrate success in order to foster more success. If that event had passed without anyone noticing, I can virtually guarantee the next test will be a failure.

That Veterinarian met a standard that a whole lot of people try and fail to attain. That is a big deal.
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1SG Claims Assistant
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CPT (Join to see), would I celebrate a 180? APFT? Of course not. My point there is a bit more subtle about how to maintain momemtum and motivation on a Soldier who could have quit, but didn't.

We have a 24 news cycle. They have to fill the time. The optics were good, so it went viral. I saw that CPT interviewed on the news this morning and she was clearly a bit embarrased by all the hoopla. She in front of the whole world, was dehydrated, broken down, and falling on her face. But she got back up again and found enough in the tank to pass. That shows heart.
Now if she would've just drank some water, she would never have been on TV.
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CPT Company Commander
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1SG (Join to see) I agree with you. I just can't help but to think there were other motives here. Like the whole push with women in combat arms and trying to sway the public. I don't think if it was a male it would have been treated the same way.
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MAJ Matthew Arnold
MAJ Matthew Arnold
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Yeah, like the Marines, you girls grab all the press.
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MAJ Matthew Arnold
MAJ Matthew Arnold
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No apology necessary. My comment above was meant as a light jab, I forgot the ;-) Please read my commendatory (as in commendable, not me, you) comment further down the thread.
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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Our country loves underdogs. This nation started as an underdog. She exemplifies the winning spirit and a don't quit attitude that we want to bottle and reproduce. I will celebrate her achievement than to analyze where she belongs on the food chain.
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CPT Company Commander
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I think it makes for a good story but so does the story of the 3 Airmen that were out numbered.
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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I went on a 12 mile road march and put lifesavers in my mouth for energy, I had so many that I looked like a squirrel, and I thought I was going to choke lol
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CPT Company Commander
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TSgt Hunter Logan It does upset some of us that is it is story about a female soldier. It is nothing to do that she is a female. It is more to do with that it is a soldier doing something that soldiers do. This one was dehydrated and could barely make it.

To me it is great that she made. I don't have an issue with that. But feel good stories don't happen in combat. That is my perspective. It is not a popular one but I feel that it must be said. If you were going to attack a target and had to walk 12 miles to the target would you want your medic to be at that point of exhaustion when you get there? It is only going to get worse when the battle starts.

Her making it is a personal achievement. It is even a great one for her. She should be proud. But it is an achievement that should be celebrated among the Army or even the national media. What about Capt. Jason Mitchler, who was recognized for the fastest time completing the 12-mile road march? Or Sgt. 1st Class Javier Najera who was recognized for having the highest test on the written exam? They had to work to get there and were well prepared for he tasks. I just don't see that with her. She passed. I get it. But she is a champion or the standard bearer for female soldiers? I think that is pushing it.

On a side out all the females that went on to Ranger School were required to do this only as part of their day. They had a full day of training after their road march. They didn't struggle with it.
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MAJ Matthew Arnold
MAJ Matthew Arnold
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TSgt Hunter Logan, I applaud your determination and logic. When needed, you re-educate and win me over. When not needed, at the least, you provide the perspective I lack. God bless and keep up the good fight. BTW, this time, you won me over. (How could the USAF ever let you go!?)
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